Airbnb says activity worth over €700m to Irish economy

Company arrives at total figure by combining host income and guest spending in State

Airbnb was worth more than €700 million to the Irish economy in 2018, according to the company itself which arrived at the figure by combining host income and guest spending.

The figure puts Ireland 20th in the list of Airbnb's direct economic impact figures, behind Croatia, Portugal and Spain. The US topped the list with $33.8 billion (€30 billion) last year.

In total, Airbnb claims its host and guest spending was worth €86 billion to economies in 30 countries.

In Ireland, some 1.8 million visitors stayed in accommodation listed on the Airbnb site, spending an average of €116 per day of their trip or €537 million over the year. Hosts, meanwhile, earned almost €168 million from Airbnb.

The most popular destinations outside the main urban centres were Killarney, Dingle, Westport, Tralee and Kilkenny.

Most overseas visitors came from the United States, with Britain, France and Germany also popular sources of tourism.

However, domestic travel also accounted for some of the visitors, with 20 per cent of travellers through Airbnb coming from Ireland.

"Airbnb has transformed the way people travel, helping visitors to stay and explore in Ireland beyond the traditional destinations and hot spots," said Jean Hoey, public policy lead for Ireland. "Our community of hosts and guests is helping to spread the benefits of domestic and overseas tourism and putting money in the pockets of local families, businesses and communities."

New regulations came into force this week governing short-term lets in an attempt to address the rental crisis. Under the new rules, introduced by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, hosts seeking to let a room or their entire property must register with local authorities. However, they can register only if they wish to rent for under 90 days per year. So too must landlords with properties in Rent Pressure Zones – areas of Dublin and its commuter belt, Cork, Galway and Limerick where the housing crisis is at its worst.

Those who plan to let their property for more than 90 days must apply for planning permission.